In a letter dated October 1866, French composer Georges Bizet (1838 – 1875) went straight to the point of opera: ‘As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.’
A damaged painting bought at an antiques market for a few zlotys has turned out to be an extremely rare portrait of Fryderyk Chopin, potentially worth millions. The small oil on canvas is only one of a few that is known to be painted during Chopin’s lifetime.
How often we relax to the Hispanic melodies of Isaac Albeniz. His Rapsodia Espanola, Sevilla and Granada, based on Catalan folk songs, are perhaps the better known of his many compositions. These lovely melodies evoke the Spanish dream more than could any Goya painting but what of the man behind the music? Like most composers his life was as notable as was his music.